It’s not just entertaining A-List DJs and all the Champagne you can eat…

Would-be-promotors – are you reading through endless DJs biographies and wondering who to book? Are you faced with having to check the authenticity of huge social media followings? Wondering just how much additional fee is justified by the words ‘Hot Creations’ after a DJs name? Well, worry no more, our expert team of part-time blaggers, queue jumpers and liggers who make up the Prinks editorial team have put together the sum of their knowledge on promoting dance music events and we’re happy to share it all with you today. Won’t take long. Here’s the Prinks guide to becoming a promoter:


Learn how to deal with low-level criminality

Don’t panic if, as a rosy cheeked bright-eyed 18 year old, putting on your first student night at the local club, you find yourself in the back room at the end of the night with the big boys from the local firm, who are all snorting coke off the knives they all seem to own. But also, don’t spill your drink, knock the ash tray over or ask them if they saw that episode of ‘Friends’ when Chandler and Ross met some bullies at Central Perk. They didn’t.

How to ensure a successful DJ booking  

Here’s a simple tip for booking DJs. Forget about listening to their mixes or checking them out live, that stuff’s for your Grandad. No, what you need to do is establish whether the DJ’s love affair with music began at an early age. Most good DJ biographies say this, so it’s clearly pretty important. Additionally, if the DJ is able to point to a specific triggering event in their early childhood such as listening to their older brother’s record collection, then all the better. Obviously, it would also be preferable if the DJ grew up in a house full of music with at least one parent who was either in a jazz band or was a dancer. Tick these off and you will be guaranteed a decent booking. You’re welcome.

Doublethink

As a promoter, you’ll need to learn how to use what 1984 author George Orwell referred to as ‘Doublethink’. This is the ability to hold two opposing and contradictory facts in your head at the same time. For example, you should be completely comfortable in telling everyone that your event is 90% sold out whilst simultaneously remaining aware of the fact that you’ve only sold 6 tickets so far.

“Club Promoter is not a proper job”

This is what people will say to you, especially your mum. This is because ‘Club Promoter’ is one of those job titles that has become easier to claim than perhaps it should be, much like ‘DJ/Producer’, ‘Social Media Influencer’ or ‘Emoji Translator’. But getting free entry and some drink tokens because you convinced 10 people to pay on the door, does not make you a promoter. 

Still, anyone can book a pub back room for their mix-tape launch party, spam a few Facebook groups and claim they are a club promoter. And again, like DJing, this ease-of-access has drawn a certain type of person, attracted by the idea of velvet ropes, champagne and being ‘in da club’. Bless. Being marched to the cash point at 6 am by a grim-faced headliner after a poorly attended night usually addresses such naivety. 

Guest List

Although people may snort derisorily when you describe yourself as a club promoter, they’ll also text you at quarter to 12 on a Saturday night asking for guest list places for them and seven of their mates. Worse, when they turn up they’ll be overly chummy and full of false bonhomie to compensate for their former lack of support – and it will be totally awks.

Pesky DJs will insist on their fee, people will ask you to let them in when you’re already at capacity. And if anyone gets ejected from the club because they were openly trying to shift several kilos of cocaine from a corner of the dance floor, they’ll swear eternal vengeance on you and your family. You will also not hear from people for decades and then suddenly become briefly popular when you book a decent DJ, whilst all your close friends will quietly mute or block you on social media to avoid your continual promotional efforts.

It can be a thankless and virtually profitless endeavour, and promoters have got something of a reputation for, if not criminal activity then certainly shady moves. For some, this reputation is certainly deserved but real promoters are heroes:  the risk-takers and the ones left to deal with the fall-out once the party is over. Some of the best promoters are national treasures, disco-buccaneers who brave the storms of Saturday night revellers, the rocky shores of the licencing authorities and the Police. And some of the best are just people who like to put on a proper party for their mates and play exactly what they want. So if you really want to become a promoter, then be aware that you’re entering a hallowed profession: all of you promoters, we salute you! Except for any that knock DJs for their money, you can all fuck right off.